MIL OSI – Source: Far North District Council – Release/Statement
Headline: Far North District Council – Strong interest in Perehipe Reserve consultation
Just half way through a four-week submission process and 150 people have already had their say on whether part of a council reserve should be leased to owners of a Karikari Peninsular camp ground.
A proposal to lease the reserve was published after Te Hiku Community Board received a request from Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park to formalise an arrangement that had evolved between council and previous owners of the business.
That arrangement allowed an ‘overflow’ of campers from Top 10 to pitch their tents on the reserve during the peak tourist season. In return the park owners mowed the reserve and supplied water to public toilets all year round, saving the ratepayers more than $9000 annually.
However, the new owners of the camp ground, Chinese company Carrington Holiday Park Jade LP, asked the Far North District Council last year to formalise the arrangement by leasing part of the reserve to the company.
Te Hiku Community Board Chairperson Adele Gardner says she is pleased the community is making the most of the opportunity to have their say on the proposal.
“Quite rightly, people feel strongly about leasing a public reserve to a private business and there are passionate opinions being voiced both for and against the proposal. Unfortunately, that passion has allowed some misconceptions to creep into the debate with some people accusing the Board of having a predetermined position.”
She says that once the request to lease the reserve was made, the Board had simply followed due process as set out by the Reserves Act 1977. The Act says that any change to the use of a reserve must be publicly notified and that the council must consider all objections and submissions to that proposal.
“Some people think that because the Board put forward the proposal, then that is what we want. That is not true. We put forward a proposal for residents to consider. As a Board, we take no position. Our job is to facilitate the public consultation process and make a recommendation to council based on the submissions we receive. The final decision on whether to grant the lease will be made by Councillors, not the Community Board.”
Ms Gardner says that the submission process remains open to anyone until 4pm 18 April and she is encouraging anyone to have their say on the lease proposal. Submissions for or against the proposal can be:
• sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• lodged online via the link www.fndc.govt.nz/perehipe17
• posted to Submissions – Perehipe Reserve, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440.